|| Why is Pre-school Education Important in Child Development?
Development is a progressive process in which different areas (cognitive, sensory and psycho motor) interact with each other. Pre-school period is the basis of life. This period which is the highest point of learning potential is an important development process which forms the basis of personality.
In this period the acquired attitudes and behaviours affect the future learning and development and acquired skills forms a basis for new skills. So, the children should be in the right training and teaching environment in order to proceed in cognitive, social, sensory and physical development areas. They should also be given the opportunity to develop their skills and talents. Recent researches show that a person achieves %60 of his qualifications in this period. %50 of the mental development until 17 years old is achieved until the age of 4 and %30 is achieved between the ages of 4-8. It has been approved by the researches that %33 of the due school success shown until the age of 18 is basically depends on the education taken between the ages of 0-6. It means that the behaviours achieved during pre-school form the personality, attitude, habit and judgement of an individual.
In brain development the formation of connections between nerve cells which contribute learning and the stimuli that children encounter during this formation in pre-school period is very important. During this period children who encounters many and qualified stimuli and interacts with many different people and objects will have many and qualified connections between the nerve cells in their brains. Consequently it will be possible to reveal the child’s potential.
Therefore the education in this period will be the base for lifelong learning and all facilities will be at least as important as genetic features.
Kindergarten educational programs should therefore support child’s mental, social, cognitive and sensory development.
Games are important needs of children and children can find this environment at pre-school period the most. Again this period is the children’s best time when they learn to protect their own rights and to respect others’ freedom. Kindergartens should be the place where speaking activities are supported more than transferring knowledge.
As Foebel says ‘The purpose of the kindergartens should be to raise awareness to learning’
Kindergartens should be considered after 3 years of age for working mums and after 4 years of age for non-working mums. During this period school and family communication is very quite necessary.
In the process of the development of children the kindergartens are there to support the family. So that children from different family backgrounds are supported socially and cognitively in accordance with the common objectives.
Due to characteristics of this development stage children need the form of ‘Active Learning’ model
During pre-school age five senses and muscular system plays an important role in learning. The information learned effectively through experience using sensory and muscular systems becomes permanent. Knowledge gained by doing and experiencing creates effective mental structures in children. Learning through doing and experiencing, exploring, producing and problem solving are important parts of Active Learning. In accordance with Active Learning different learning areas and experiences should be supported with trips according to student’s level.